Korea’s Target: 200,000 Electric Cars By 2020


Chevrolet Spark EV in South Korea

Chevrolet Spark EV Launch in South Korea

South Korea has put a target on electric cars expected to be on its roads by 2020.

That target, 200,000 electric cars, is ambitious, but since it’s driven largely by the government’s push to promote zero-emissions transportation, it might be achievable.

In Late December, the South Korean government formally announced the electric car target, along with plans on how the nation hopes to achieve its goal:

“The Environment Ministry unveiled a package of comprehensive measures to speed up the commercialization of electric cars, which includes a renewal of tax breaks, investment in new technologies, quotas for public agencies, plans to expand charging stations and other incentives for buyers.”

“Under the plan, the government will strive to boost the number of battery-powered cars on the road from the current 800 to 3,000 in 2015 and 200,000 in 2020 and diversify the portfolio to taxis, buses and trucks.”

“To entice more drivers, the existing tax cut of up to 4.2 million won ($3,800) will be extended by 2017, while 25 percent of new vehicles purchased by public institutions must now be electric. Currently 50 percent of their vehicles are required to be city, hybrid and other eco-friendly cars.”

Reports cite South Korea’s lacking public charging infrastructure as a hold back on electric car sales, but the government has plans for charging too.  Currently, there are ~200 charging stations in South Korea.  That figure will jump to 1,400 by 2020 to support electric car growth.

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19 Comments on "Korea’s Target: 200,000 Electric Cars By 2020"

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I wonder if they mean pure BEV or any plug-in?
If it’s the later it will surely be a more realistic goal.

For example in the US there are already 280,000 plug-in vehicles on the roads as of December 2014. Out of those there are about 135,000 pure BEVs.

David Murray

I was wondering the same thing. Especially of charging infrastructure is the problem, PHEVs will help bridge that gap.


Yeah, because people totally spend a lot of time driving across country in an old-world country that’s a whopping 200 km wide.

South Korea isn’t exactly the kind of place that has flyover states. It wouldn’t take much effort to create a really thick infrastructure for EVs.

John Hansen

I’m not sure what it is, but after “reading” this article I want to buy as many Chevy Spark EVs as I can afford.

David Murray

I know, right?


Because the Spark is such a gorgeous car.


Because it comes with a giant key?


I wonder how Korea treats imports. And I wonder if Tesla has still interested in Korea after a year since this


^ South Korea


South Korea is very protective of their country’s products. Because of that, it’s very uncommon to see everyday items from anywhere but South Korea. When I was there, the only American-made everyday item I found was a urinal. Really.

South Korea is very protective of their auto market too. While you will see BMWs and some other makes there, a vast majority of the vehicles you see on the road are made in SK. The government has very high import taxes, much to the chagrin of the US and other countries. They are trying to get SK to play fair and some improvement has been made, but it still has a long way to go.

Josh Bryant

Based on what you say, Tesla may actually have a chance, where Chevy would not. Numbers would be real limited and I wonder how much effort it would be to comply with their local laws.


The Chevy Spark was designed and made in Korea.

Those 200,000 EVs their talking about? All Sparks.

How did you think Chevy was going to get to a $30k price point with the Bolt?



Yeah. A big clue is that photo seems to have been taken in the overflow of one of their production facilities in SK. See all the baby blue Sparks.


Just a thought, but maybe they should sponsor some funny TV ads for plug-in vehicles featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco. I’m sure it would go viral and bring a lot of attention to the cause.

CounterStrike Cat

That Amerikan racists, who claimed Dokdo belongs to Japan, will make every car dealer getting burned down.


Funny they are holding a big key when the Spark EV starts with a button.


Toyota just did the same thing with the Mirai. Some traditions die hard….

Michael B.

They should have made the goal 202,020 just for the halibut.